All-Star forward Jimmy Butler wants to play for the Miami Heat, according to a report from Marc Stein of The New York Times. But the asking price set by Minnesota appears to be too high, even for the Heat, according to Zach Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Jimmy Butler and his agent Bernie Lee have informed Wolves ownership that Miami is Butler's preferred trade destination, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) September 26, 2018
ESPN Reporting w/ Zach Lowe: Minnesota’s asking price for Jimmy Butler remains too steep for teams. Minny seeks quality vets/top prospects/future assets/cap relief. Too high a price for interested teams, including Miami. Sources are skeptical of Thibodeau’s desire to make deal.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 27, 2018
Thought exercise- which team has every asset class listed here? If you are in possession of this type of value, who do you trade all that for? Both are shorter lists than you think. https://t.co/WXoKwzAf8c— David Griffin (@dg_riff) September 27, 2018
Stein reports the Heat have been "aggressively" pursuing Butler since he requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves last week. Despite their mutual interest, the Heat have reportedly "found it hard to get Minnesota to clearly communicate," according to Stein.
The Heat have pursued Butler as aggressively as any of the 20-plus teams to inquire thus far but, like many, have found it hard to get Minnesota to clearly communicate. League sources say Miami is a team that strongly appeals to the free agent-to-be Butler after a trade https://t.co/YYTQT8FW22— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) September 26, 2018
Thibodeau reportedly tried to convince Butler to stay during a meeting on Monday, according to ESPN, but the 29-year-old star "remained resolute" on his desire for a trade.
Meanwhile, team owner Glen Taylor reportedly wants to accommodate Butler's request in order to quickly end this situation.
Thibodeau talked about the Butler situation with Reid Forgrave of CBS Sports on Tuesday.
"Our reality is that he has requested a trade, so we'll honor that," Thibodeau told CBS Sports. "But we're not just going to make any deal. He requested a trade and we're going to honor his request. But we're not going to do anything that's bad for the Timberwolves. We're going to do what's good for the Timberwolves. We have to prioritize that. That's what our job is."
Despite Thibodeau's apparent willingness to trade Butler, ESPN reports teams are "skeptical" of Thibodeau's desire to make a deal and the situation remains "volatile" in Minnesota.
This is the situation as of this morning. It could of course change on a dime. Not sure it's possible to exaggerate how volatile things are in Minnesota right now. https://t.co/ssWp3fyXwD— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) September 27, 2018
The Heat enter '18-19 with a nearly identical roster as last season, when they went 44-38 to secure the No. 6 seed. The addition of Butler could be enough to vault Miami into the top half of the Eastern Conference.
Butler, a four-time All-Star, averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals in 59 games for the Timberwolves last season.